Friday, August 10, 2007


I've been spending a fair amount of time lately in a terminal. OS X includes and Apple's implementation of X11 automatically starts an xterm when launched. is OK for working on my Mac but doesn't behave quite the same way as a regular xterm when I'm logged into a Linux box vi SSH. Neither nor xterm have one feature that I find very useful, tabbed windows.

I was using UniTTy for awhile but screen refreshes are slow. Awhile ago, I ran iTerm but ran into problems with how it handled different keystrokes.

So the other day I decided to give MacPorts a try and installed mrxvt, formerly known as materm. It's based on rxvt, a terminal emulator widely used on Linux systems, but adds tabs. Here's a screenshot:

Click on the pic for a larger version.

As you can see, I have it setup with the tab bar at the top using a black background with green characters. I find this color scheme easy on my eyes and is how I prefer to run terminals; the default is black characters on a white background.

So far, mrxvt seems stable and fast. the only disadvantage it has compared with is that I have to run X11 to use it, but otherwise it's very good so far.

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